Sunday, 2 December 2012

Housey Housey

Quite a fuss seems to be developing about the UK Government claim that more building on undeveloped countryside is needed to satisfy demands for new housing by our increasing (but fragmented) population (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/nov/27/housebuilding-needs-more-open-land?INTCMP=SRCH). There is no doubt that provision of affordable housing in pleasant surroundings is likely to be a vote winner but it might be worth considering whether this would really help the situation. How many people would have the flexibility to take up residence in semi-rural locations (recognising that home working is only an option for certain types of employment)? Some people would argue that the UK actually has too few greenish areas as it stands. The UK obsession with detached houses with gardens is not even replicated in our near neighbours in Europe! It is also pretty evident that we don't always use our existing housing stock very efficiently (some is unoccupied and some under occupied). If it is true that city centre shops are largely doomed to be replaced by out of town shopping malls, there may be more scope for creating new housing on these brown field sites. Perhaps some further thought on the topic is required?

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